Ever wondered how ambulances arrive on the scene in seconds flat? It's
all about geomatics. Geomatics is the gathering, analyzing, distributing and
using of any data related to geographic location. Geomatics engineers know
how to use the information to map land areas and natural resources.
Geomatics engineers develop the systems used to collect, store and interpret
this data. Often called "geo-info," the data defines the locations of things
like schools, hotels and roadways.
The collected data can be used for many things. Emergency services can
use it to find the quickest routes to accidents or disaster areas. Governments
can also use it to combine information about streets, population and traffic
flow to improve public transportation.
While geomatics grew out of land surveying, these engineers work in a variety
of high-tech settings -- from software companies to satellite information
providers. They may also choose to work as land surveyors and spend more time
outside in the field.
According to geomatics engineer John Carpenter, there aren't many huge
companies in this field. "Typically, you'll end up working for smaller consulting
firms [with] 20 or fewer people."
Engineers typically work a Monday-to-Friday workweek, but they may have
to work some overtime to complete a big project.
Many disciplines intersect in geomatics, including surveying, mapping and
computer systems specialties. They all contribute to the creation of systems
that use geographic data. Subfields within geomatics include:
Many geomatics engineers work on teams that include computer programmers,
land surveyors or resource managers. Their workweeks and days are usually
standard, although some overtime work may be required when a large project
is nearing completion.
While geomatics is an important field worldwide, it has grown especially
fast in North America, where huge land areas and abundant natural resources
must be mapped and managed.
Create and manage systems that manipulate geographic data